Great Horned Owl

It’s official, I am going to introduce an ordinance in Prince William County that no one beyond a certain age and of questionable heart activity shall be allowed on their front porch after 11:30 pm.  Yes, that’s right, I did it again.

Thursday night at 11:45, I was again out on my porch.  Because of my recent adventures, I now turn on the light first, as if that offers me some protection.  Right away, I heard this:


From Wikipedia

I thought, ‘oh isn’t that nice we have an owl pair close by.’  They are usually 300-500 yards away in the woods, but tonight they were in one of our trees.  This was a pair of Great Horned Owls.  Now I know what your thinking, you want to know why I haven’t named them since I have a tendency to name all the members of our little game preserve.  In addition, yes, I know it’s the beginning of the mating season for these big guys and what I heard was the ‘pair call.’  Well,  I’m not going to fall for that one, because I know what you think I should name them and that’s just not going to happen.

Anyway, per my usual, I was just standing there, minding my own business when something must have happened.  I didn’t hear anything, but my hearing and eyesight doesn’t come close to what these big guys have.  I guess it was time to move, or a tasty meal was within range, I don’t know.  But without any warning, this 3-pound bird with a 4-foot wingspan swoops down in front of me and off into the night.  Not even so much as a ‘howdy-do’ and off he went.

I know I should be used to this kind of thing by now, and if it was always the same animal that we see all the time; deer, fox, opossum, or even RaSHi, I wouldn’t have even reacted.  But it seems like every time I go out there, some new Members of the Wild Kingdom (MWK) wants to join the game reserve.  Now this isn’t an exclusive club here and I’m not trying to be a snob about this, but do you think it would be asking too much for a little warning before they swoop in on me like that?

At least Big Yogi was polite and quiet and went about his business, even though he did spread my garbage all over the yard.  And OK, I did disturb that big buck last week, oops my bad.  And yes, I did put our Christmas tree out there on the porch for the summer and it was perfect for Myrtle.  But we have to come to some sort of agreement here. … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

I have been informed by Mr. Owl, (who [sic] better, right?) that an agreement has been reached.  Wait a minute, I wasn’t in on this!

Please don’t interrupt!

The MWK agree that you can continue to live here, pay the taxes, mow the lawn and trim the bushes, and go light on the pesticide and fertilizer, if you please.  In return, MWK will control the populations of field mice, rabbits, crows, snakes, skunks, all manner of bugs, and anything else they might deem as tasty, (including that poodle that lives up the street if he’s not careful).  In addition, MWK will provide the beautiful music that wakes you in the morning and puts you to sleep at night.  MWK agrees not to deliberately attack you, however if you continue to interrupt us during our normal seasonal biological functions, we may revoke this part of the agreement.  MWK also may pee and crap anywhere we damn well please, and it will be your responsibility to make sure you are not hit by it or step in it; you are the one with the big brain, remember?

If you agree, please nod politely.

Yes, sir.  [nod] [sigh]

© J T Weaver

Similar Posts: RaSHi  The Buck  Big Yogi  Myrtle

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About J T Weaver

The author of "Uphill Both Ways," a thought provoking series of stories about life, family, and growing up.
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22 Responses to Great Horned Owl

  1. Pingback: 50. Settling In | J T Weaver

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  3. Noony says:

    Your wildlife adventures remind me of the creatures I run into, except I am usually in the wilderness and not on my own porch when I encounter them.


    • J T Weaver says:

      That’s probably what makes them so noteworthy. I’ve encountered most of them in the wild (except Big Yogi). It’s the unexpected nature of it all that is so appealing. Thanks for stopping by Noony, I’m glad you liked the story.


  4. I enjoyed reading this, JT. There is nothing finer than hearing the owls at night. Beautiful music, indeed.


  5. Excellent post. Once a friend and I were backpacking at night in the mountains of Colorado. It was a well worn path with a full moon overhead so we could see pretty well. A Great horned Owl glided over our heads from behind and a height of about ten feet. That would be four feet above our heads. Scared the bejeezes out us. We heard nothing. It was spooky but WAY cool.


  6. Grace says:

    Watch out. I have been “owled” and it is painful! Middle of the day, walking through an outdoor shopping area, I was grabbed by an owl on the top of my head. They grasp the talons in and in my case, “in” was in my scalp. Tetanus or rabies shot later, I was on the mend. Honestly, it was quite a scary experience. Wear a hockey helmet outside at night! lol


    • J T Weaver says:

      wow. I stay close to the door on my porch and the columns keep the big birds from coming in. Around here its the other wildlife. Thanks for reading Grace, I’m glad you stopped by, I really appreciate it.


  7. dtbrents says:

    Reblogged this on A Healthy You.


  8. marianbeaman says:

    Great fuel for your blog: feathered and unfeathered friends. The nerve, that owl!


  9. I don’t just like this; I love it.


  10. ksbeth says:

    you must look like prey to many of them )


  11. Chatty Owl says:

    Biggest smile on my face, when I read about my cousins all over the world interrupting other people’s lives 😛 Wonderful, I feel proud of them!
    Such a delight to read this.


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